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Moira Morley

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A person with powers is just that. They have a normal job, a life, etc. Pick any person from the real world. Just give them powers. Nothing has significantly changed for them.

A superhero is someone who chooses to put themselves in harm's way for 'the greater good'. They risk themselves to use their powers to help/protect/save people from XXX (whatever). How they do that is rather variable but the core concept remains the same.

That said, not ever char has a reason to start. ie They might not start as a hero. But they need to get that motivation and reason pretty soon. Otherwise, you're just someone with powers going with the flow. Not a Hero.

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I did not consciously mean to be directing that at anyone else, or accuse anyone... but, if you have to ask, then yes, I'd say you are missing something.

Saying a superhero is "just a person with powers" is like saying a firefighter or a policeman or a doctor is "just a person." It's not so much about what you can do, it's about why you do what you do, and how you go about doing it.

To put it in more personal terms: being the daughter of two gods, and having superhuman strength, toughness, and attractiveness, does not make Divine a superhero. It's what she does with those abilities, and why she does what she does with them, that make her a hero... or a villain... or a neutral (or apathetic) bystander.

If someone asked Divine if she was a superhero, and why she considers herself such, what would her answer be? Does she show a strong moral character? Go out of her way to help others? Does she do so despite risk of injury (physical, mental or emotional) to herself, or without expecting any sort of payback? Does she do things because she wants to do them, feels an urge to do them, or because she feels it's expected of her?

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My big concern when seeing when seeing what I quoted was for Divine. She's a good person. She'll protect herself and her friends. If trouble goes down, she'll handle it. Other than that? She's not decadent or amoral. I guess that's all I can say for her. I guess she isn't a superhero. It troubles me to think that I like the way she is played and she doesn't conform to values of what's supposed to be happening.

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I don't believe anyone here has doubted that Divine's a good person, but good =/= heroic. Look at Rich "Voyeur" Rover (Freedom City, pg. 48): he's a decent fella, and has superpowers, but no one would claim he's a superhero.

Protecting herself & her friends doesn't make her a superhero, it just makes her someone interested in protecting herself and her friends. Which would describe most people (to be more specific, people who aren't psychopaths).

She's not decadent or amoral.

Haven't you said, many times, that she's a hedonist? Don't hedonism ("pleasure is the only intrinsic good") & decadence ("luxurious self-indulgence") go hand-in-hand?

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You're not the only one struggling with this issue, Moira; as can be seen in this thread, I've been having trouble finding Gossamer's hero within as well. She's a good person but really has yet to do anything heroic, though that might change over the course of her disastrous date with Doc.

I think the fundamental issue is it's much easier to involve an active character in storylines than a passive one, and I for one have been playing Goss far too passively. For her part, despite not being overtly 'heroic', Divine has managed to find a lot more thread activity than Goss ever has, so it's obviously not so simple as that.

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In this context, one of the key differences between Super-Heroes and People With Powers is the degree to which the character is active or passive. SHs go looking for "Trouble." PWPs just live their lives until "Trouble" comes to them and/or their loved ones.

Another factor is civic responsibility. PWPs will defend their friends and loved ones when they're attacked or threatened. SHs will intervene on behalf of anyone and everyone. The words "It's Not My Problem" aren't in a SH's vocabulary.

A few points worth noting:

Many SHs started out as PWPs, until some event in their origin story motivated them to make the transition and put on the tights/armor/whatever.

Although SHs take an active role in crime-fighting, disaster relief, and general world-saving, their motives for doing so vary.

SHs can be decadent and hedonistic. Tony Stark is probably the Most Triumphant Example of a SH who still parties hardy. The Authority is an entire team of such characters.

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I think the differences have been pretty well covered, I just wanted to add that this has been an issue I've seen for alot of characters (Usually short lived ones) hence why I brought it up. Divine does have some tendencies toward PWP as does Quark and Gossamer, Phalanx quite intentionally started out that way as I wanted to explore the growth into a hero which for him is an ongoing project Similarly there are characters like Fluer who are reluctant Heroes who haven't fully embraced thier powers or thier future.

The only real issue with this sort of character is that it limits you in what kind of threads you can become involved in. You either have to stumble upon a crime (which can only happen so often before it becomes hackneyed and boring for the player and others alike) or you have to be fetched to help a friend who does go out and actively pursue things because they need backup. Social threads are another option but if that's all you end up doing then you really aren't experience the full super hero experience with the character.

The thing is that this doesn't make it a bad character per say, just much more likely to be boring and hard to get involved. As a Ref its hard when you have to do an extensive build up to explain one characters presence in a thread when everyone else has a good IC reason to be out fighting thugs or whatever, so I certainly preffer to have active PCs around than passive ones.

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I think part of why I've been losing so much steam with Z specifically is because she has yet to be in any threads where actual superheroing goes on. It's all been social / character-driven stuff. She's only been in one actual fight with a supervillain since she was approved, and she K.O.ed the guy in the first round. This is something I should remedy shortly.

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